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05/01/2013

Everything is Connected

Rapt Studio's design for Adobe's new Utah campus brings employees, clients and nature together in the pursuit of innovation.

By Kylie Wroblaski
Photography by Eric Laignel + Weston Colton
 

Rapt Studio's design for Adobe's new Utah campus brings employees, clients and nature together in the pursuit of innovation. 

Contact & Sources

Adobe Systems’ 2009 acquisition of web analytics firm Omniture was regarded by many in the tech industry as a bold move, so perhaps it’s fitting that the company’s new campus in Lehi, Utah, makes an equally bold statement.

Home to more than 1,000 Adobe and former Omniture employees, the 600,000-square-foot campus, designed by WRNS Studio, captures the imagination with a contemporary expression, picturesque views of the surrounding Utah Valley and copious amounts of light.

The sense of connection stirred up by both the architecture and natural setting continues inside, thanks to an inspired design from San Francisco-based Rapt Studio. Filled with thoughtful touches, expressive graphics and brilliant amenities, the interiors create a unified culture rooted in innovation.

“As we started to have conversations about what their brand meant to their employees, it became apparent that the way they used to think about the workplace and its connection to its employees had to be rethought in a way,” explains Cory Sistrunk, principal and leader of Rapt’s Branding Design and Consulting practice.

“The intention was to build a space that was true to the local flavor, that seemed genuine, that wasn’t the typical granite-clad office building, and that made a meaningful connection between their employees and the brand of the new Adobe.”

For the design team, “local flavor” included features like a climbing wall, fitness center and an NBA-quality basketball court—cantilevered over a spacious café, no less—all in a nod to employees’ active lifestyles. Floor-to-ceiling 12-foot glass walls along the perimeter provide expansive views of the surrounding valley, as well as spaces throughout the building.

The design is Adobe as it aspires to be in a new era of digital integration. Everything is connected, and everything must work as one.

“The way the master plan was developed, the atrium has the green views, and the landscape basically rolls right through the building,” Sistrunk says. “All of the offices are built inboard and the space is dripping with connections between who they are as a brand, why they’re important to their customers, and why they should matter to their employees.”

The messaging begins from the moment you step foot onto the campus, and is leveraged at every conceivable opportunity. Customers and employees alike are greeted by a wall of monitors in the reception area that show the Adobe logo in close proximity to a collection of customer logos, while bold wayfinding graphics speak to the company’s prominent place at the intersection of technology and design. A well-appointed network operations center showcases the breadth of Adobe’s ability to handle data across the globe, while the customer experience center includes classrooms and other educational settings.

Of course, this campus is more than a mere brand ambassador—it has been designed to serve as a well of inspiration for employees, many of whom commute from cities like Orem and Salt Lake each day. Oversized and stylized typefaces pay homage to Adobe’s place in the early days of computerized type, while themed conference rooms patterned after great innovators connect employees to the past—and, as Adobe hopes, the future. PageBreak

“You’re not hit with just Adobe products on the wall,” says David Gallulo, Rapt’s CEO and design principal. “You go to a meeting in the Jackson Pollock conference room and it’s wrapped in a Pollock painting on the glass, and you’re reminded, ‘Okay, maybe I should break some rules today because innovation comes from being an outlier.’ That was important to Adobe, and therefore every piece of that building reminds them of that.”

“Jackson Pollock is one thing,” Sistrunk adds, “but we’ve got walls covered in computer mice that are dipped in paint that are all purple, except one, reminding people that it’s okay to be different.”

Another thought-provoking touch can be found in the main atrium, where a commissioned mural by artist El Mac captures the creativity and innovation at work by Adobe employees, as well as the customers who make use of those tools. The spray-painted image depicts a young girl coloring, with a deep red glow emanating from where her hand meets the paper.

WATCH: The creative process behind El Mac's mural for the Adobe Utah campus.

“We tried to think of what would showcase either the inspired creativity that Adobe enables, or leveraging the products in a way that brought the tower of products to life,” Sistrunk says. “El Mac was chosen because even though he’s a street artist, his art appears as if he used a Photoshop filter to achieve it.”

“It’s that concept of, even with street art, how can we tie it back to Photoshop, which is a program today’s artists are leveraging in their process?”

The result is a space that connects everything—customers, employees, the environment and the brand itself—in a seamless and uniquely Adobe way. It’s a narrative that appeals even to those who have been there from the beginning.

“They had an opening celebration and the two founders of Adobe showed up and took a tour through the space,” recalls Gallulo. “They turned to the executive and said, ‘We need to make a coffee table book about this building, because there are so many stories to be told here on such intense, strong, meaningful connections to the Adobe that we founded.’ Thirty years after these guys started this business, in walking through this space, they felt there was still a story to be told.”

 

SOURCES:
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ceilings
Ceiling Systems Incorporated
(801) 572-5367

FLOORING/CARPET
Interface | 1
(800) 634-6032

Kasthall (custom rug) | 2
+46 320 20 59 00

MILLWORK
Ceiling Systems Incorporated Fondell Woodwork | 3
(801) 768-4467

Gill Group
(800) 666-1418

SEATING
ATRIUM
Allermuir
(888) 887-5806

Decca
(612) 362-0007

CAFETERIA
Arper
+39 0422 7918

Carolina
(800) 763-0212

Coalesse
(866) 645-6952

Martin Brattrud
(323) 770-4171

CONFERENCE ROOMS
Coalesse

Herman Miller
(616) 654-3000

LOBBY
Arper

HighTower
(816) 286-1051

Knoll
(800) 343-5665

OPEN OFFICE COLLABORATIVE AREA
Arcadia
(800) 585-5957

Coalesse

Herman Miller

HighTower | 4

OPEN OFFICE LOUNGE
Allermuir

Keilhauer
(800) 724-5665

SURFACING
Benjamin Moore
(855) 724-6802

IdeaPaint
(800) 393-5250

TABLES
ATRIUM
Decca

Herman Miller

CAFETERIA
Allermuir

Herman Miller

CONFERENCE ROOM
Creative Wood (custom tables)
(510) 635-5399

OPEN OFFICE COLLABORATIVE AREA
Bludot
(612) 782-1844

Herman Miller

INFORMAL CONFERENCING
Creative Wood (custom tables)

Herman Miller

WORKSTATIONS/PRIVATE OFFICES
Herman Miller

UPHOLSTERY/TEXTILES
Camira
(317) 484-0305

Walls
Teknion (office fronts) | 5
(877) TEKNION

 

CONTACT:
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 client 
adobe systems
3900 Adobe Way
Lehi, UT 84043
(385) 345-0000
www.adobe.com

 

 

 

 

 Project Team 
interior design
Rapt Studio
111 Maiden Lane, Suite 350
San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 788-4400

base building design
WRNS Studio
501 2nd Street
4th Floor, Suite 402
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 489-2224

contractor
Okland Construction

photography
Eric Laignel + Weston Colton